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Regulatory Update – June 12, 2020

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

PHMSA Seeks Input on Agency Performance
On June 12, 2020, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a notice and request for comments on the agency’s plan to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to conduct a generic information collection request (ICR) to collect qualitative feedback on the agency’s service delivery. Comments are due by July 13.

FMCSA Seeks Comments on CDL Skills Test Delays
On June 10, 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a notice and request for comments on the agency’s plan to submit an ICR to OMB. The ICR collects data on delays that commercial driver’s license (CDL) applicants face when scheduling a skills test. Comments are due by Aug. 10.

PHMSA Publishes Updates on Special Permits
On June 5, 2020, PHMSA published updates on special permit applications:
List of Applications for Special Permits – Comments are due by July 6.
List of Applications for Modification of Special Permits – Comments are due by June 22.
Notice of Actions on Special Permit Applications – Comments are due by July 6.

FMCSA Publishes Notice of Revisions to National Hazardous Materials Route Registry
On June 3, 2020, FMCSA published a notice of revisions to the National Hazardous Materials Route Registry (NHMRR). The NHMRR is a listing, as reported by states and tribal governments, of all designated and restricted road and preferred highway routes for transportation of highway route-controlled quantities of Class 7 radioactive materials and non-radioactive hazardous materials. The notice is effective June 3, 2020.

FMCSA Publishes HOS Final Rule
On June 1, 2020, FMCSA published, in the Federal Register, the final rule amending the hours-of-service (HOS) regulations. The final rule was previously announced by FMCSA on May 14, 2020, but wasn’t officially published in the Federal Register until June 1, 2020. The final rule expands the short-haul exemption to 150 air miles and allows for a 14-hour work shift, expands the driving window during adverse driving conditions by two hours, allows 30 minutes of on-duty time to qualify for the 30-minute rest break requirement, and allows the sleeper berth period to be split into a seven- and three-hour period. CVSA submitted comments to these changes when they were published in the original notice of proposed rulemaking. The final rule goes into effect on Sept. 29. Petitions for reconsideration are due by July 1.

Update on Exemptions

NHTSA Requests Comments on Goodyear Petition of Inconsequential Noncompliance
On June 12, 2020, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a notice and request for comments on a petition of inconsequential noncompliance from Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Goodyear determined that certain Kelly Armorsteel KDM 1 commercial truck tires do not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 119, New pneumatic tires for motor vehicles with a GVWR of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) and motorcycles. The tires are engraved with a date code that is less than the required height. Comments are due by July 13.

NHTSA Requests Comments on DTNA Petition of Inconsequential Noncompliance
Also on June 12, 2020, NHTSA published a notice and request for comments on a petition of inconsequential noncompliance from Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA). DTNA determined that certain model year 2011-2021 Thomas Built Buses Saf-T-Liner HDX school buses do not comply with FMVSS No. 222, School bus passenger seating and crash protection. The buses are equipped with a wall-mounted restraining barrier that does not meet the requirements specified in the FMVSS. Comments are due by July 13.

FMCSA Grants Commercial Motor Vehicle Marking Rules Exemption Request
On June 1, 2020, FMCSA announced the approval of a joint exemption request from Adirondack Transit Lines Inc., Pine Hill Kingston Bus Corp. and Passenger Bus Corp., allowing their passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicles to operate without the required display of the motor carrier name and U.S. DOT number. The exemption is effective June 1, 2020-May 28, 2025.

FMCSA Grants MPCS Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Pre-Employment Screening Exemption Request
Also on June 1, 2020, FMCSA announced the approval of an exemption request from Motion Picture Compliance Solutions (MPCS), allowing MPCS member companies to only perform a limited query of the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse before hiring employees for safety-sensitive functions. The exemption is effective June 1, 2020-May 28, 2025.

CVSA Active Exemption Tracker
CVSA maintains a list of active exemptions issued by FMCSA. The exemption tracker can be found at www.cvsa.org under the “Inspections” tab at the top of the page.

CVSA Letters, Petitions and Comments to Rulemakings

CVSA Submits Comments on Grote Rear Lamp Exemption Request
On June 11, 2020, CVSA submitted comments to FMCSA on an exemption request from Grote Industries LLC to allow motor carriers to operate trailers and van body trucks with amber brake-activated pulsating lamps on the rear of vehicles. CVSA’s comments agreed with Grote’s assessment that amber brake-activated pulsating lamps can improve safety but expressed concern that red pulsating lights may be confused with emergency vehicles and conflict with some state laws limiting those types of lights for use by emergency vehicles.